More and more teens are turning away from drug and alcohol use in place of a healthier and cleaner lifestyle. That’s according to the recent report published by the NHS.
A survey of 6,500 children ages 11 to 15 showed a decline in the use of drugs, alcohol and cigarettes for the past decade. Only 17% had tried drugs in 2017, which is significantly lower than the 29% who did in 2010. Among the 15-year-olds, there was a 39% drop from 39% in 2010 to 23% in 2017. On the latest stats, only 5% said they smoked at least once a week. The rate went down by 50% between 2010 and 2017. According to Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre, the report shows that children appear to be leading an increasingly clean-living lifestyle and are less likely to engage in drug and alcohol use.
Parents have a major role to play in leading their children towards a healthy, cleaner lifestyle. If you’re a parent and you’d like to know how you can prevent your kid from going the wrong way, here are some tips for you:
1. Don’t discourage your kids from doing drugs by telling them don’t do it. When children are in state of rebellion, they’ll do things that will make their parents angry. The best way to discourage children from drug use is to inform them about its health risks rather than repeatedly saying ‘don’t do it’.
2. Tell them nothing but facts. Before you talk about any drug, you want to be sure that the information you’ll relay to your child is nothing but the truth. Don’t get carried away with what TV commercials and news say. Sometimes, news stories are exaggerated. You may want to go online, look for some trusted sources, go to the library and read books, or ask a professional.
3. Tell them about drugs as often as possible. As your child reaches 10, you can start talking about drug use and its effects more often. If at first he or she seems uninterested, try again some other day. But remember tip #2 – stick to the facts. Telling them incorrect information is just the same as encouraging them to do drugs.
4. Focus on helping your child build confidence and self-esteem. Studies show that teenagers who engage in drug use are those who had unhappy childhood. Some of them smoke and drink alcohol because they believe that it’s the only way to escape their life’s misery. Raising a child is indeed one of the hardest challenges in life. In every step of the way, parents should be there to guide and assure them that they’re loved.
5. Help your child cope with peer pressure. In most cases, pressure from friends force a child towards doing drugs. We can’t take away peer pressure but we can do something about it. Tell your child that when he or she feels pressured, stick to what is right. Tell them that they shouldn’t do something they’re not comfortable doing.
6. Seek professional help as needed. Children who are going through a traumatic experience are vulnerable to drug abuse as they approach adulthood. So it’s important that they’re given sufficient attention. Seeking help from professional therapists is one way to prevent your kid from the possibility of drug use.